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Reduced Gen-Ed Requirements for Fall 2020 Semester

By Samantha Hart
Lifestyle Editor

Students entering Fairleigh Dickinson University in Fall 2020 can expect fewer general education requirements to complete their degree.

As a part of the reconstruction of the curriculum, FDU will try to reduce the number of general-education requirements for incoming students, as well as for any returning students who change their major.

University Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Gillian Small told The Equinox that student interests are a top priority in the restructuring.   

“We’re really trying to put the students at the forefront of this,” Small said. “They’re our main consideration … to make sure that they have the opportunities that would give them a little bit more flexibility.”

Geoffrey Weinman, dean of Becton College, said a reduction in the number of general-education requirements would offer students more options.

“We want students to have more opportunities to take the courses they really want to take,” he said.

Students on the Metro campus who are pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree currently have to complete a minor in order to graduate, while their counterparts at the Florham campus do not.

This disparity is being discussed by FDU’s decision-makers and could lead to the elimination of a required minor for the B.A. on both campuses.

Dr. Benjamin Freer, professor of psychology, said there are two sides to reducing the general-education requirements.

“I think the consideration of reducing the number of general-education requirements will have the biggest impact on the students,” he said. “As a faculty member, I would like to retain general-education requirements, as I believe an important aspect of college is gaining a breadth of knowledge.”

But Freer sees the net effect of a reduction as positive, saying that the reduction of general-education requirements would allow “students to determine the path they want their education to take rather than the university requiring a large number of courses that students may not perceive as worthwhile to their career goals.”

Small said the curriculum changes have been in the works for two years and that the last year has been dedicated to working out the details.

Another goal of the university is to improve graduation statistics.

“We want more students graduating in four years,” Weinman said.

Despite a decrease in interest nationally among high school seniors in going on to a four-year college, FDU is hoping these changes will attract more students.

We can’t hide the fact that this is a pretty challenging time in higher ed,” Small said.

students may not perceive as worthwhile to their career goals.”

Small said the curriculum changes have been in the works for two years, and that the last year has been dedicated to working out the details.

Another goal of the university is to improve graduation statistics.

“We want more students graduating in four years,” Weinman said.

Despite a decrease in interest nationally among high school seniors in going on to a four-year college, FDU is hoping these changes will attract more students.

We can’t hide the fact that this is a pretty challenging time in higher ed,” Small said.

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